Guide to Scope’s online community

Welcome to the community

Thank you for deciding to join our community, we hope you enjoy your time here. 

Scope’s online community is a place where disabled people, parents, carers and those who work with disabled children and adults can come to discuss all topics relating to disability. You can ask questions, share your experiences and get much needed support with any issues you currently face.

To help you get the most out of it, we’ve prepared a quick guide which will help you to get set up with an account, find out where things are, and take your first steps towards engaging with the rest of the community.

Quicklinks:
How to join the community
Exploring the community discussions
How to post a comment
How to start a new discussion
Customising your profile
Notifications
Reactions and flagging
Badges and ranks
Unanswered posts
How to view community tips
Who are the community team?
What is a community champion?
How do  I remove something I posted?
What are community advisors?
How do I report a post?
Who writes the community's guest posts?

How to join Scope's online community

In order to post comments and discussions on the community, you first need to sign-up. This can be anonymously if you wish – you will only be identifiable by your user name – and it takes just a few short steps, as explained below.

  1. Go to our registration page.
  2. Enter your email address and your desired user name in the relevant fields.
  3. Type your desired password into both the ‘password’ box and the ‘confirm password’ box. Choose a strong password which is at least seven characters long, ideally containing a capital letter and a number. The most important thing though is that it is one which you will remember and which no one else will be able to guess.
  4. Click the ‘I agree to the terms of service’ box. To read the terms of service, click the link next to this.
  5. Click the ‘Sign up’ button. All done!
Once you’ve completed this process, it’s a good idea to make a note of your user name for future reference. 

Navigating the discussions

In Scope’s online community you’ll find many different discussions (or message threads) taking place. Each discussion is created by a user, and is then added to by other users commenting below the original post.

Each discussion is assigned a ‘category’, either by the person who started the discussion, or by one of the community admins, so you can find content that is relevant or interesting to you by viewing an appropriate category. The place to start is the ‘Categories page’, which you can enter via the menu button on the right-hand side. This will display a list of categories, and to enter one of these you can simply click on the title.

Once in the category, you’ll see a list of discussions, with the most recently active of these at the top, alongside any content that has been ‘announced’ by the community team. Clicking on a title will take you to that discussion. If you want to return to the community homepage at any point, simply click the menu item at the top which reads ‘Scope’s online community’.

Posting a comment

When logged into your account, scroll to the bottom of a discussion to leave a comment. Type your comment into the white box and click the ‘Post comment’ button below this when ready. Above the comment box, you can find various formatting options and the attach image/file button.

Starting a new discussion

While logged in, you can start a new discussion simply by clicking the button marked ‘New discussion’ at the top-right corner of the screen. This will take you to a new page where you can choose which category to post the discussion in via a drop-down menu. Try to pick a category which closely fits the topic of your discussion, and, in the box below, give it an interesting title which indicates what the post is about.

Type your post in the larger box below this, and if you want to add formatting such as bold or italic to it you can do so using the icons at the top of the box. Here you will also find an icon which can be used to add an image or file to the post. If you wish to add clickable links to websites mentioned in your post, you can do so by selecting the desired text to use as a link, and then clicking the icon above that looks like a chain-link. When you’re ready, click the ‘Post discussion’ button to publish it.

Tip: To make your post easier to read, it’s a good idea to break it into smaller paragraphs by hitting the return key on your keyboard twice. Using punctuation such as full-stops will also enhance readability. If you want to see what your post will look like before you publish it, click the ‘Preview’ button.

Customising your profile

There are lots of different users on the community, and each one is identified by their username and profile. You can customise your profile to make it unique in a number of ways, and you can begin by clicking on your username or profile picture at the top-right of the screen, and then clicking ‘Edit profile’ near the top of the subsequent screen that appears.

On the edit profile screen you can do many different things, such as uploading a picture to represent yourself in the community (this can be a picture of you, but if you prefer to remain anonymous feel free to use a picture of your cat or anything else), or setting a ‘signature’ which can be used to customise every post you make.

Notifications

From the edit profile screen you can also change your notification preferences. This can allow you to customise your community experience to your tastes, by enabling you to choose when, and if, you want to receive emails notifying you of new posts in the community. When you’re done, be sure to click the purple ‘Save preferences’ button near the bottom of the screen.

Changing passwords

If you wish to change your password, you can do so from the edit profile screen (reached by clicking on your user name) and then clicking ‘Change my password’. If you have any problems accessing your account, don’t hesitate to contact the Scope community team at community@scope.org.uk.

Reactions and flagging

Along the bottom of each post, you’ll see a number of different icons. The first, ‘flag’, enables you to bring a post to the attention of the community team – for example if you believe that it contravenes the terms and conditions of the community. The community team will then receive a message and will take appropriate action. 

The second icon along enables you to quote the selected post, or part of it, in your response. This can be useful if you want to directly address a point that another user has made in the discussion.

The next two icons – ‘Like’ and ‘Awesome’ – are a quick and simple way of expressing your agreement or appreciation for another user’s post. The user in question will receive one community point for each reaction.

You can also share discussions via Facebook and Twitter by clicking on their icons further along the row.

Badges and ranks

As a community user you can earn badges for doing or achieving certain things, such as making a certain number of comments, being on the community for a year or more, or receiving a certain number of ‘likes’.

These badges also reward you with a certain number of points, which in turn allow you to progress through the various ‘ranks’ of community membership, which are as follows: Listener, Whisperer, Talkative, Chatterbox and Brian Blessed.

Badges and ranks are intended as a fun way of showing how much members contribute to the community. Once you reach the level of ‘Whisperer’ (25 point), the ability to send private messages is also enabled. You can view your current rank on your profile page, next to your username, and your current number of points can be found in the ‘About’ section of your profile. Over on the right hand side (or at the bottom of the screen on a mobile device), you can also view the badges you have earned.

Unanswered posts

Many people join Scope’s community because they have a question or an issue that they need help with. Posts that have not yet been answered can be found on the ‘unanswered posts’ page. If you have a bit of spare time at any point, please do visit the page and see if there are any posts that you can help to answer.

View community tips

As well as joining in with discussions and creating your own, you can also find many tips from the community on a wide variety of disability-related topics. You can access these via the community tips page, a link to which can be found on the right-hand side of the screen from the homepage.

The role of the community team

The community team is @Alex, @Chris_Scope and @Sam_Scope. Our role is to oversee the day-to-day running of the Scope community, curate guest blog posts and other content for it, and develop new features that will be of benefit to our users.

We do our best at all times to keep the community free of spam, to moderate discussions and posts where they fall short of our terms and conditions, and to promote a friendly, supportive environment within the community.

If you ever want to contact us about anything, you can reach us at community@scope.org.uk.

Community champions

A community champion is a user who has volunteered to help welcome new members, offer responses to posts, engage in discussions, and to generally work with the community team to make sure that the community is safe and supportive. We’re always looking for new community champions, so if you’re interested in helping, drop us an email at community@scope.org.uk.

 

Frequently asked questions

How do I remove something I posted?

If you have posted a comment or discussion then you can edit your post for up to an hour (this is to allow for making corrections to things such as spelling and grammar). However, other than this you will not be able to delete your post or edit it outside of this window. This is to avoid confusion in community discussions caused by the removal of comments which have been responded to.

If you have posted something in error, or which you would like to remove for another reason, please get in touch with the community team at community@scope.org.uk, and we can delete it for you.

What are community advisors and how do I ask them a question?

There are a number of advisors on the Scope community, each with a different speciality and expertise or experience in their area. They are generally volunteers, and will do their best to answer your questions promptly, however as they volunteer on a part-time basis, response times can vary and may take a number of days in some instances.

You can ask one of our advisors a question by scrolling to the bottom of the categories page and clicking on one of the corresponding links there. Once within the advisor’s section, click ‘New discussion’ to ask a question.

How do I report an offensive post/ spam?

At the bottom of the post or comment in question left-click the ‘flag’ icon. You can then type in your reason for reporting the post. Complete the process by clicking the ‘send report’ button, and our community team will look into it. 

Who writes the community’s guest posts?

Community guest posts cover a wide range of subjects related to disability and are written by many different individuals outside of Scope, ranging from experts and practitioners to disabled people who wish to share their experiences or address a particular issue.

I’m interested in writing a guest post for the community – who should I contact?

If you’re interested in writing a guest post then please send an email to the community team at community@scope.org.uk with a brief outline of your proposed post in the first instance. We’ll get in touch to let you know if your idea is suitable and to provide you with further details.

Signing in

Sometimes when you visit the community, you’ll find that you’re already logged in from your last visit, and if this is the case you’ll see your username and profile picture in the top right corner of the screen. If this is not present, simply click the ‘Log in’ button in the top right, and then enter your user name and password when prompted.

If you have any problems logging in, send an email to community@scope.org.uk and we’ll be able to help you access the community.

You can also sign in using your Facebook, Twitter or Google+ account, by clicking on the relevant icon within the sign in box.

How do I change my user name?

If you wish to change your user name for any reason, please contact community@scope.org.uk stating your current user name and what you would like to change it to.